HSBC’s Expat Explorer Report 2019 Reveals Interesting Expat Insights

In HSBC’s latest Expat Explorer Report, the company reveals some interesting insights into expat life, and expat perceptions of various countries around the world.

The Expat Explorer Survey is aimed at providing people with information when they aren’t sure where they want to move, are trying to decide between a few countries, and want to compare their home country to those in which they’re interested.  To view the Survey’s results table, click here.

In the 2019 Survey, the top ranking countries were as follows:

  1. Switzerland
  2. Singapore
  3. Canada
  4. Spain
  5. New Zealand
  6. Australia
  7. Turkey
  8. Germany
  9. United Arab Emirates
  10. Vietnam

The countries were ranked according to criteria across 3 categories; Living (well-being and society), Aspiring (finances and ambition), and Little Expats (child-related factors).

Switzerland takes top position

Switzerland ranked highest overall, and has secured a position in the top 10 every year since 2011. An impressive 82% of expats in Switzerland have seen an improvement in their quality of life compared to their home country, with its stunning scenery a major contributing factor. Expats also praise Switzerland’s low levels of pollution, with 70% noting cleaner and more pleasant surroundings than they were used to at home. This is far higher than the global average with only 40% of all expats saying the same. Enhanced well-being doesn’t stop there. Home to Geneva, the City of Peace, Switzerland is renowned for its low crime rates and safe streets. Two-thirds (67%) of expats feel more secure there than in their home country.

Financial factors are where Switzerland continues to excel. Higher levels of disposable income are reported by 71% of expats, contributing to an average expat salary of $111,587, well above the global mean of $75,966. Expats also note the country’s remarkable levels of political and economic stability. In a year where almost half of expats globally (49%) are concerned about their country’s economic situation, only 20% in Switzerland have any such reservations, and 86% are relaxed about the country’s political status.

Expat life exceeds expectations for young professionals

Those who make the move abroad before their 35th birthday see the biggest boost in their pay packet and career potential, compared to older workers, leading to greater fulfillment and a securer financial future.

Almost half (47%) of young expats move abroad to further their career, and they are very much reaping the rewards. The majority (55%) become more confident while abroad, while more than seven in 10 (71%) learn new skills. They are also more likely to benefit from quicker promotions or move into a new career path entirely – with one in 10 even starting their own business after moving country.

Moving abroad early can also be the key to unlocking higher earnings. Four-fifths (80%) of young people aged under 35 years increase their earnings abroad. Expat Millennials can expect to see their income jump by over a third (35%), from an average global annual salary of $40,000 to just under $55,000. In comparison, for 35 to 54-year-olds, earnings increase by just under a quarter (24%), while the over 55s see a 9% increase.

With this increased windfall meaning more disposable income in the short-term, our data shows that Millennials are also thinking long-term. These expats told us home ownership was their top financial priority, with 45% of under 35s already on the property ladder.

Popular destinations for Millenials include Hong Kong, the USA, the UK, and Poland.

Tips from HSBC

The company notes that it is important to get ahead with as much admin as possible before departing. This includes not only organizing visas and sorting out financial matters and budgets, but also planning school applications and arranging healthcare services.

HSBC also suggests using the local language of your new home as soon as possible, and immersing yourself in the local culture, can allow you to develop a strong social circle and help you settle in faster. Joining interest-based clubs is one way to achieve this.


For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

Senegal Adopts Gas-to-Power Agenda for Universal Electricity Access

As gas-to-power is a major pillar of Senegal’s strategy to provide universal power access and increase economic competitiveness, the country aims to obtain sufficient energy sources while reducing the electricity shortage among its people.

Africa is leading the liquefied natural gas (LNG) global race as it will receive one-third of total global greenfield investments for LNG projects in 2019, around US$103bn. Senegal is leading the way with its giant Grand Tortue Ahmeyim (GTA) gas field, which will have economic and social benefits in the long-term.

Natural gas in the GTA was first encountered in 2014 by frontier explorer Kosmos Energy, who later entered into a joint-operating venture with British supermajor BP. Successive discoveries since then have indicated that the field could produce up to 10mn tonnes of LNG per year. Beyond sizeable reserves, the project is unique in many senses as it allowed a landmark transborder cooperation agreement to be signed between Mauritania and Senegal. The GTA project will be known as the fastest LNG project ever, with just five to six years between discovery and first gas, which is scheduled for 2022.

As part of the country’s Emerging Senegal Plan (PSE), launched by President Macky Sall in 2014, Senegal aims to obtain sufficient energy sources while reaching a triple objective that includes providing reliable electricity for its citizens with the goal of reaching universal access by 2025; increase its competitiveness by supplying affordable power to local companies and protecting the environment with cleaner energy.

During a meeting with Africa Oil & Power in December last year, Philippe Miquel, head of Western and Central Africa for French renewable energy firm Engie, stated, “I believe it is a good thing for Senegal to develop its natural gas resources. For one, it will decrease the use of fuel-based plants for a cleaner environment. Senegal will also be able to think about other uses for natural gas besides power generation including natural gas distribution for the retail market and natural gas as a transportation fuel.”

Since the GTA discovery, gas-to-power has become an increasingly hot topic in Senegal and is now an important component to becoming a regional energy hub and an energy-independent nation.

Speaking to Africa Oil & Power, Serigne Mboup, managing director of Société Africaine de Raffinage (SAR), Africa’s oldest hydrocarbon refinery, said, “The government of Senegal has expressed its wish to make our country the energy hub of West Africa. This strategy is in line with the global push towards greener energy production which SAR intends to fully comply with.”

In order to implement its gas-to-power masterplan, the Senegalese government is working closely with an integrated team comprising UK-based Penspen and MJMEnergy. Penspen will be in charge of studying technical aspects of the project including multiple scenarios to connect final consumers with new gas supplies. It is set to put together a conceptual gas network infrastructure design associated with an estimation of costs and timeline. MJMEnergy will define the economics of the projects, including gas markets and financial related aspects. It will further develop the institutional framework and business requirements of the new public-private enterprise that will build and manage the gas network.

“This important project is a significant milestone for the country in providing access to competitive and clean supplies of energy to its people. We look forward to using our deep technical experience to help Senegal maximise the benefit from the natural gas it has discovered within its territorial waters,” Penspen CEO Peter O’Sullivan commented.

Gas-to-power infrastructure

The transportation network will be split into three: the North network, South Network and Dakar network. With a total length reaching 427km, the project cost is estimated at around US$300mn and will be built in various phases.

The North segment will include a short line from the GTA to a power plant near Saint-Louis, which will then be extended by 140km to the Tobene Power plant onshore. This segment is aimed to be finalised by 2024.

The South network will link the Dakar network to the Kahone power plant by 2023. It includes a 120km pipeline.

Finally, the Dakar network is the infrastructure centrepiece, aimed to be commissioned in 2023. It will connect the Sangomar gas producing field to several existing power plants around Dakar, achieving a total length of 157km.

Electricity production

In order to generate enough power to meet national goals, Senegal is moving forward with a dual strategy regarding its power plants. A number of existing power plants will be converted into dual-fuel power plants while brand new combined cycle power plants will be commissioned by 2022-2023.

According to a study run by Sweden-based Wärtsilä, US$61mn is necessary for conversion operations. Discussions are currently ongoing with the World Bank regarding funding for this particular project. Mostly located around Dakar, these power plants could be fed by Sangomar gas as early as 2023.

Wärtsilä was awarded the contract for the construction of a 130MW Flexicycle power plant last year, in line with Senegal’s strategy to have flexible power plants ready to incorporate natural gas as feedstock.

“This is a major energy project that is very important for Senegal. We needed a reliable and qualified partner to engineer and provide the flexible and reliable energy system, now and as our energy infrastructure evolves. With its global and Pan-African experience, Wärtsilä fully meets the project requirements,” commented Sami Soughayar, CEO at Matelec Group.

Under the leadership of President Macky Sall, Senegal boasts tremendous growth figures, around seven percent annually. The trend is not looking to weaken, with the country positioned by the CIA’s World Factbook at number 12 in the world’s fastest-growing economies by 2023. Such figures, coupled with massive hydrocarbon discoveries, have made Senegal a top investment destination globally. Major projects are underway to increase rural inclusion and reduce unemployment. In the energy sector, President Sall, who will be designated Africa Oil Man of the Year at Africa Oil & Power, taking place in Cape Town from 9-11 October, has put together a strong institutional and regulatory framework in order for the country’s natural resources to benefit the people.


For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

Air Tanzania to Launch Flights to London

Air Tanzania has received landing slots for the launch of flights to London’s Gatwick Airport.

In preparations for the launch of flights to the United Kingdom later this year, next to resolve for the airline will be other related licences and the process is already underway.

The carrier is planning to operate three flights a week, using B787 Dreamliner, to fly from Dar es Salaam via Kilimanjaro to Gatwick, every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

At present, Air Tanzania has to meet European Union safety standards though, should BREXIT happen on October 31, it would be the British authorities to process the application.

Tanzania has not had nonstop flight connections to the UK for several years now since British Airways, inexplicably, withdrew from the route between London Heathrow and Dar es Salaam despite high load factors. The route closure was one of many in Africa at the time and robbed Tanzanians and visitors to the country of a direct airlink between the UK and East Africa’s largest country.

The flights, once operational, will put further pressure on some loss-making airlines in the region presently flying from their hub airports in East Africa to the UK as Air Tanzania is expected to gain market share at their expense.

Meanwhile, Air Tanzania also passed IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA), which is a mandatory requirement when foreign countries process various permits for landing rights. Air Tanzania is after Precision Air, the second airline in Tanzania to meet these requirements.

It is also a standard requirement to engage in negotiations with other IATA airlines for interline and codeshare agreements. Air Tanzania returned into the IATA fold after the government settled long outstanding debts with the IATA clearing house in preparations at the time for the relaunch of the airline.


For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

SA Home Affairs Watchdog Launches Twitter Account to Talk Directly to Customers

The Home Affairs Portfolio Committee has launched a twitter account to play watchdog to strengthen its oversight work.

Parliamentary Communication Services Malatswa Molepo said @PConHomeAffairs was “intended to bridge the communication gap between the committee and the customers of the department”.

Advocate Bongani Bongo, the Chairperson of the committee said if the committee was to enhance service delivery to the required standard, it had to be willing to adapt to changes to the environment in which it operated.

“Social media presents an opportunity for instantaneous communication with the public, and will assist in providing first-hand information about their daily experiences at Home Affairs offices,” Bongo said.

Molepo said the committee viewed effective oversight as a precursor to efficient service delivery.

“Furthermore, effective oversight requires that a variety of voices are heard in order to achieve a balance of views.”

The committee pleaded with customers not to only highlight the negatives, however, note those departmental working optimally and improving service delivery.

The committee said it intends to use issues raised on the platform as a basis for its oversight over the department.

“The department will also be required, from time to time, to respond directly on issues raised on the platform.”


For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

SA Students Vie for R15m Business Start-up Prize

A group of SA students is hoping to bag a R15m capital injection from the UK where they are participating in the Hult Prize Accelerator programme.

The four students – Nobuhle Ndebele, 24, Lindokuhle Nene, 25, Reitumetse Nkhahle, 26, and Gauta Matlou, 29 – all PhD chemistry students at Rhodes University in Makhanda (formerly Grahamstown) – are on a quest to win a $1m (R14.7m) cash prize to fund their start-up company.

They will spend eight weeks in the UK preparing for the final pitch competition where the best business idea will win.

The Hult Prize challenges innovative university and college students from across the world to a social entrepreneurship start-up that will create 10,000-plus meaningful jobs in the next decade.

The four, known as Team E-Smart, won the regional Hult Prize at Brookhouse International School in Nairobi, Kenya, with their business model to develop an idea to provide meaningful work for young people within the next decade.

Rhodes University chemistry PhD students Gauta Matlou, Nobuhle Ndebele, Reitumetse Nkhahle, and Lindokuhle Nene.

Their idea is to create job opportunities for the youth through the collection of electronics and electrical waste materials for further recycling, repairing or re-purposing into new market products.

Speaking on behalf of Team E-Smart, Matlou said they had been introduced to influential people.

“We are excited that we have made it this far in the programme. The real work has just started and we have already been assigned with our own mentor Ryan Reigg.

“At the moment our challenge is achieving or sealing business partnerships into our business. We need to get partners who will be willing to buy our products in the future.

“That will show the judges that we will be able to run and m aintain this business should we get the prize,” he said.

“There are currently 39 teams from across the world. Ours now is to fight for the top- six position by improving our business model and demonstrate to the judges how we will create 10,000 meaningful jobs for the disconnected youth in our E-waste business. We need to impress the mentors, experts and judges.”

According to Team E-Smart, SA produces about 316,000 tons of electronic waste and only 12% is collected and recycled, which is then exported to other countries.


For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].